CSKA Moscow vs. Lokomotiv Kuban Prediction, Tips & Odds – May. 05, 2022
After being expelled from European competitions, the trophy in VTB United League is the only thing CSKA and Lokomotiv can fight for this season.
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The ambition of CSKA was to fight for the Euroleague title this season, but all Russian clubs were expelled from European competitions, so they can only play and try to win the title in VTB United League. The future of the club is uncertain because Russian clubs will certainly not play in the Euroleague next season either, so this is the end of an era led by head coach Dimitris Itoudis. It can be read in the media that he could take over Fenerbahce next season, but there is no doubt that he will try to say goodbye to CSKA by winning the trophy in the VTB United League.
Some players like Daniel Hackett, Toko Shengelia, Marius Grigonis, and Iffe Lundberg left the club when the war in Ukraine began, but there are still Nikola Milutinov, Will Clyburn, and Allerik Freeman, and subsequently signed Casper Ware and Jonas Jerebko. There are also several quality Russian players: Aleksey Shved, Nikita Kurbanov, Semyon Antonov, and Vladimir Ivlev, so CSKA is the first favorite to win the VTB United League.
«Меня зовут Уилл Клайберн. Я не желаю рассказывать, что мне нравится и не нравится. Мои мечты… 🏆»
Playoffs. It’s CSKA Time: Semifinal
— CSKA Moscow (@cskabasket) May 2, 2022
Just like CSKA, Lokomotiv was also left without almost all foreign players at the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Darius Thompson, Alan Williams, and Greg Whittington left the club, leaving only foreigners Ivan Paunic, Errick McCollum, Jaylen Barford, and Johnathan Motley. Just as is the case with all Russian clubs, everyone is waiting for the end of this season to see what and how to do in the future because they will not be able to play in European competitions next season as well.
Lokomotiv played quite well until they were expelled from the Eurocup and had a chance for a good result in Europe, but all that was erased. Against CSKA, they will be outsiders in this semifinal of the VTB United League, but they will certainly try to be the best possible opponent and maybe make a surprise. With the departures of foreign players, CSKA lost more than Lokomotiv, so maybe they will look for their chance in that fact.
— Lokomotiv Kuban (@lokobasket) April 30, 2022
CSKA and Lokomotiv have played against each other three times this season and all three times CSKA won by a double-digit difference. Of course, those duels were played in quite different lineups, so they are not so relevant for this semifinal series. Lokomotiv last won in Moscow against CSKA in January 2018.
Of the players who remained in the clubs after the war in Ukraine, all are available for both teams for the first game in this semifinal series of VTB United League.
CSKA Moscow vs. Lokomotiv Kuban Prediction
Lokomotiv still has solid quality in McCollum, Barford, and Motley, while their domestic players have played a solid role in the Eurocup this season, so Lokomotiv can certainly play a good game against CSKA in Moscow. It is certain that no team will be particularly motivated after all the events, and that always benefits the outsider.
Pick: Lokomotiv +11HC
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